Actually, I picked a point in time in which all of the main competitors of that era were present on the list and compared those with the top competitors of the current list, using Spike as an anchor.Don wrote:Tom,
The only thing that matters is how close you are to the top program. If you just measure improvement of each individual program it is based on how crappy it was at the point you start measuring.
There was a point in time when Rybka 3 first came out that there was a huge gap in performance between him and anyone else.
You picked Rybka 2 as your starting point.
I don't know how large a gap in ELO Rybka 3 has at a given point in time over all of its competitors, but I doubt that it was consistently huge over a reasonable stretch of time.
I suppose that if we look at enough lists, we'll find a large enough discrepancy at some point in time. I can point to a few lists that show Rybka over 150 ELO ahead of the next engine. I also can't find several of its closest competitors on it (and I'm going back to pre-Ip*).
Rybka is 300 points better than Fruit, which hasn't been worked on since when: early 2007? It isn't 300 ELO better than Fruit's continuation/fork of Toga. Several other engines are also much stronger than the 2007 Fruit is. Things improve. Products and/or services that remain static will usually fall behind; this has been true since long before computers came into widespread existence. One only needs to look at A&P, Montgomery Ward (and Sears, for that matter), Penn Central, Equity Corporation, General Motors, etc. to see that one can't rest on one's laurels. Each of the above was at one time the leader in its field; Penn Central and General Motors were at one time each the largest corporations on the planet. Each got complacent, and each was eaten up by more eager and innovative competitors. But I'm straying off topic.
Even if we concede that Mr. Rajlich has advanced chess engines to some degree, it's a stretch, in my opinion, to hail the man as the end-all of chess programming in the past five years. If we were to do this, I would be one of the "end-all's" in Othello programing. Many years ago, I suggested something to Mic Buro, the author of what was then one of the many strong Othello programs in competition: Logistello. It had nothing to do with programming, as I know little about that subject. It involved a certain aspect of pattern evaluation, a certain type of piece configuration that's favorable to the side who achieves it. Mic incorporated it into Logistello. During the next year, Logistello swamped the competition in most tournaments. About a year from the initial date, I suggested the same pattern evaluation to other programmers, in an off-the-cuff conversation on the IOS, where most of them hung out (had a connection open) during the weekdays. I got two or three questions and answered them. A couple said that my idea made a lot of sense. Within a month or so, four or five programs got better and became competitive with Logistello. Did my idea cause that or at least stimulate further development? Possibly, perhaps probably. Does that make me the "end all" in Othello computer programming? Hardly. I had an idea, one that most top players intuitively know about but probably don't think of in so many words, and I translated it into an idea that could be programmed into patterns that a computer could recognize.
I suppose it's just me, but I don't consider 100 ELO at a few points in time to equate blowing away the competition. It's an achievement, regardless of how it was obtained, but it isn't earth shaking, in my opinion, and it hasn't stayed constant throughout the years.
That's about all I can think of to say. I've spent way too much time on this one topic and in this one thread, not that I'm complaining, as I like to write, but I do have my day job, as do most of us, and I need to get back to it. Thanks for your attention.